By the author of Elvis Lives!, Pamela Williams
My first book, The Bride's Guide, was published in 1985 through my company, Books By Pamela, Ltd. Following seven editions, we've sold over 200,000 copies. I also made a Spanish translation available and more recently released Wedding Showers For Couples. My personal journey from Here Comes the Bride to Heartbreak Hotel is interesting. I've always enjoyed Elvis' music even though I was never a big Elvis fan but I was intrigued by the number of people who imitated and followed the image of a dead celebrity.
I was initiated into the Elvis impersonator world during my first trip to Memphis, Tennessee in August, 2000, the anniversary week of Elvis' death. My husband and I played the typical tourists and we enjoyed every Elvis sighting from Graceland to Beale Street. The highlight of our trip included the renowned Images of the King contest. I was literally overwhelmed by the assortment of available Elvi. I was even more amazed by the dedication of the impersonator fans often paying as much as $150 for front row seats and their considerable expenditures for impersonator memorabilia. Even as a rookie, it seemed clear to me that the Elvis wheel received substantial financial grease from the contest and that the entire concept of re-creating the image of Elvis was, indeed, big business.
My new book, Elvis Lives - The Business of Being Elvis, explores the investment and rewards in an industry that generates P&L statements challenging some of the world's largest corporations. I have interviewed over 150 people worldwide, from the members of the scarf cottage industry to the owners of the publicly traded entertainment venue, Legends in Concert. I learned that The Business of Being Elvis includes numerous entrepreneurs, many of whom never see the stage lights or are visible to the dedicated fans, but their work is instrumental in supporting the illusion of Elvis.
After nearly three years, I appreciate and respect Elvis Presley more than I did when I started my investigative journey. It is conceivable that there is room for a sequel because I have learned many things and the Elvis phenomenon continues to expand and improve. I am convinced that the ongoing process of elevation from Elvis impersonator to Elvis tribute artist is a positive step for the industry. I know that no one can, or ever will be, ELVIS and the dedicated ETA is committed to achieving the total "Elvis package". The publication of my book is very timely since it is clear to me that the Business of Being Elvis is working to re-create itself. By the time you read my book, there will most likely be some major and positive changes in place. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a rhetorical contribution to the Business of Being Elvis, which I hope you will find as enlightening as I did. I would like to thank my many new friends for the referrals, insight and support.
I anxiously await your feedback on Elvis Lives - The Business of Being Elvis.
"Elvis Lives, The Business of Being Elvis" is available for purchase online at www.pamelaltd.com.